BERNADOTTE REVISITED, OR THE COMPLEXITY OF A LONG REIGN (1810-1844)
Abstact: Although rather unexpected, Bernadotte, Maréchal of Napoleon, is more well-known in Northern Europe than in France. His participation at the Battle of Leipzig, on the side of the allies, constitutes "treason" for many French historians who are unaware of the fulfillment of his destiny as sovereign of the kingdom of Sweden-Norway until 1844 and as founder of a dynasty. The restricted access to the Royal Swedish Archives partially explains this gap in our understanding of Bernadotte, who became Charles XIV Jean. An analysis of his personal documents, which are entirely in French, reveal, however, his significant achievements in pacification of the region and in development over the long term. Furthermore, a significant portion of the collection consists of files relating to economic and social aspects of his reign. A systematic examination of these documents is underway, and is progressing rapidly.